Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena

A Parish of the Archdiocese of New York served by the Dominican Friars

December 10, 2016

The Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete – Pastor’s Reflection (December 11, 2016)

As I write these lines on Monday, December 5, we have just concluded our Parish Christmas Fair and the annual Christmas Party thrown by the Social Concerns Committee for the women of the Park Avenue Armory Women’s Shelter.  One could more effectively convey the happy mayhem of the weekend by pointing out that it was also Food Sunday, and that there was a Parish Coffee after the 12 pm Solemn Mass.

All told, the time from December 2 until December 4 offered a concentrated experience of human
generosity and it put real flesh upon the Gospel.  Together came the energies of donors, decorators,
displayers, recipients, and shoppers.  Both parish halls sported marvelous Christmas trappings and
radiated welcome and warmth. Where generosity appears happiness follows, and it lit the faces of all involved.  It would be a great thing to make such a report in any year, but in this year, didn’t we need it!  Over and over again, I have seen that the practice of generosity heals and renews.  When people extend themselves they
exorcise pettiness, self-absorption, and anxiety.  So as these events directed resources to good purposes they also raised the heads of all involved so that truly we may perceive the “nearness of our God.”

So let me thank all involved in the abundance of the weekend.  It was preaching more eloquent than any homily.

As we enter the second part of Advent and prepare for Christmas let me offer two helps available in our parish. The first will be our celebration of Advent Lessons and Carols at St. Catherine’s next Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 pm.  The service will be followed by a parish party in St. Dominic’s Hall.  Let Scripture, music, and community give you a fresh look at something so very familiar.

The second will be our “Masses at Cockcrow.”  We have been celebrating the Misa de Gallo for a
number of years now.  This year we are adding a prayer intention which you might share, even if the early hour (6 am) is too daunting.  These nine days of Masses will be offered for the safety of children everywhere.  In these days of mass migration, human trafficking, and increased awareness of abuse, it will be timely to recall that Jesus himself experienced a precarious childhood. By contrast, what we want for young people is safety and plenty around the Christmas tree.  To pray that children at risk may find a secure home will open our own hearts to what Christ came to give.

Advent Peace!
Fr. Walter